Q for Quince {I Mean: Membrillo}

Membrillo Chicken with Sweet Potato in Duck Fat

This month Shanna and I quickly agreed that for our special ingredient challenge, the ingredient, beginning with Q, would be quince. We began our ingredient challenge last month, deciding they would be in alphabetical order commencing with the letter P instead of A. Check out Shanna’s quincy dish in her blog Curls and Carrots with her other lovely Spanish influenced ingredients.

This month our quincy Q dish was a bit of a challenge… because they aren’t in season. It looks like Shanna must have had the same conundrum as she did the same trick as me by using membrillo which is quince paste.

Membrillo quince paste

I visited plenty of fruit shops in my neighbourhood only to be told by all the shopkeepers, in a tone as if I were daft, that quince are not in season. This not in season business is always a bit mind boggling for me. I know that when I look for an ingredient and I’m told it’s not in season, my experience is that I will not be able to find it anywhere in Barcelona at that moment. I think it’s right for the environment that you only grow what is adequate for the season, plus seasonal fruits always taste way better when they are grown at the right moment. Yes to fruits only in their season! But (here is the mind boggling part that I don’t quite get) while I cannot get the seasonal fruit, I’m usually standing next to boxes of avocados, mangos, papayas, limes, greenhouse grown strawberries and whatnot.

My quincy dish is rosemary and membrillo chicken garnished with sweet potato and green peppers in duck fat.

Ingredients for the rosemary and membrillo chicken:

4 pieces of chicken

4 slices membrillo

4 small rosemary twigs


black pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add the chicken and cook both sides on medium heat with a touch of salt. When it looks about 80% done, add a piece of membrillo and arrange the rosemary on top of each chicken. Grind some black pepper on top. Cook for another few minutes to allow the aromas to mix and the membrillo to just slightly begin to melt and caramelise.

Membrillo and Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Ingredients for the sweet potato and green peppers in duck fat:

2 medium sweet potatoes

3 long green peppers


black pepper

1 tablespoon duck fat

Heat the oven to 200°C. Wash, peel and cut the sweet potato. Wash and cut the peppers, removing most – but not all – the seeds. Add all of the ingredients into an ovenproof dish. Cook for 40 minutes, taking it out and mixing a few times so that the duck fat will spread more uniformly.

Sweet Potato and Green Pepper in Duck Fat

Arrange the chicken with the membrillo and rosemary onto the plate and garnish with the sweet potato and green pepper in duck fat.

Rosemary and Membrillo Chicken with garnish

Note: the rosemary is my own homegrown.

Enjoy your meal!

PS: P for Pear and Piano {Lamb Liver with Pear, Pepper and Serrano Ham Recipe} // Dulce de Membrillo with Fresh Cheese for Dessert // My Chicken with Oyster Sauce Recipe

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